In parallel with its research on e-fuels, in particular via its new synthetic fuel production plant in Chile, Porsche is working on the development of a hydrogen combustion engine.
For the moment, the study is only based on a simulation carried out around the Nürburgring circuit in Germany, but according to the manufacturer, the results are promising and would make it possible to meet stricter standards than the current Euro 6d standards, for example example those expected in 2025, Euro 7.
To carry out its tests, Porsche relied on an eight-cylinder biturbo thermal engine which it then adapted to replace gasoline with hydrogen thanks to an increase in the compression ratio and an adaptation of the combustion. “Our team has developed a hydrogen combustion engine that equals the power and torque of high performance gasoline engines“, summarizes Vincenzo Bevilacqua, expert in engine simulations at Porsche.We also wanted it to have low fuel consumption and extremely low emissions.“
The hydrogen engine developed by the manufacturer develops up to 440 kW (598 hp) and the simulation achieved a respectable time of 8 min 20 s, around 41 seconds less than the Nürburgring lap record set by the Cayenne Turbo GT.
“Emissions from the hydrogen engine are less than 40 micrograms of nitrogen oxide per m³, which is barely measurable. Its operation is therefore safe for the environment.“, explains Matthias Böger, expert in engine simulations at the manufacturer. The remaining problems are currently at the level of the production of hydrogen and its storage. Porsche nevertheless specifies that the purpose of this simulation was not so much the performance itself as examining the technical potential of alternative combustion and expanding the capabilities of existing engineering tools.
Pending future developments, Porsche is virtually joining Toyota’s research, which is promoting its hydrogen combustion engines in competition with the Corolla and Yaris H2.